The assassination in office two days ago of Gen Idriss Deby, the immediate past dictatorial and autocratic President of Chad since December 1990 should be a big lesson to the remaining and emerging African dictators and autocrats. His shameful and ungodly death in office is also a reminder that more than half of the Africa’s 54 countries are still ravaged by dictatorship and autocracy, forcing their countries into chronic under-development and political and economic instability. In other words, over 27 independent African countries are presently under ‘personality dictatorship’ or ‘structural dictatorship’. The dictatorial Government of the assassinated President Idriss Deby of Chad was a typical example of ‘personality’ dictatorship and naming of his son as his successor and army chief is a typical case of ‘structural’ dictatorship. Presently, twelve African countries are under ‘personality’ dictatorship and over 15 others under ‘structural’ dictatorship.

Understanding ‘Personality’ And ‘Structural’ Dictatorship In Africa

‘Personality dictatorship’ occurs where a presumed elected president overstays his or her conventional maximum office term and ‘structural dictatorship’ occurs where the living dictator structures the ‘constitution’ or political arrangements and decrees to be succeeded by his or her offspring or relative or stooge in the event he or she drops dead in office. The International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law therefore authoritatively asserts that African Continent is the most dictatorial Continent in the world, followed by the sub-continent of the former Soviet Republics and the sub-continent of the Association of the Southeast Asia. Countries under constitutional or ceremonial monarchies or presidencies and their parliamentary governments are not considered to be under personality and structural dictatorship. The personality and structural dictatorial countries are those with makeshift parliamentary governments or presidencies with sweeping powers including limitless office tenures of over two terms of four or five years with.

Twelve (12) Remaining And Emerging Dictators In Africa

Under this, the longest serving President in Africa is President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea who has been in power since August 1979 (42 years) and has also named his son as Vice President and successor. The second longest serving African President is President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo who militarily came to power in 1979 and left office for the democratically elected President Paschal Lissouba for five years period of 1992 to 1997 after which he staged a bloodless coup in 1997 and has remained in office as “democratic” President till date. President Paul Biya of Cameroon is the third longest serving African President since the resignation of President Amadou Ahidjo on 6th Nov 1982 and has remained in power till date (39 years).

Others are President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President since January 1986 (35 years), President Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea, President since 19th May 1993 (28 years), President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, President since 8th May 1999 (22 years), President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Vice President and Army Chief between July 1994 and 2000 and President since 22nd April 2000 (21 years), President Faure Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo, President since 5th May 2005 when he succeeded his late father-Gnassigbe Eyadema (16 years) and President Ali Omar Bongo of Gabon, President since 16th Oct 2009 when he succeeded his late father-Omar Bongo (12 years).

The rest are: President Alassane Quattara of Ivory Coast, President since 4th Dec 2010 and an emerging dictator who won a third term in office in Nov 2020 (11 years in office today and 15 years in office by year 2025), President Alpha Conte of Guinea, President since 21st Dec 2010 and an emerging dictator who won his third term in 2020 (11 years in office today and 15 years in office by year 2025) and President Macky Sall of Senegal, President since 2nd April 2012 and an emerging dictator who won another seven year term in Feb 2019 (9 years today and 14 years by 2026).

Seventeen (17) African Countries Under Structural Dictatorship And Instability

They are Angola under Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Chad under Idriss Deby, Libya under Muammar Gadaffi, Egypt under Hosni Mubarak, Sudan under Omar Hassan el-Bashir, Congo DRC under Mobutu Sese Seko and Joseph Kabila, Burundi under Pierre Nkurunziza, Burkina Faso under Blaise Compaore, Central African Republic under Gen Francois Bozize, Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe, Gambia under Yahaya Jammeh, Somalia under Said Barre, South Sudan (protracted civil war with Sudan under Omar el-Bashir), Ethiopia under Meles Zenawi, Algeria under Abdelaziz Bouteflika (forced to resign on 2nd April 2019 following weeks of mass protests after ruling Algeria since 27th April 1999), Liberia under Samuel Doe and Charles Taylor and Serra Leone under General Joseph Saidu



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